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J R Soc Med. 1988 September; 81(9): 523–525.
PMCID: PMC1291762

The use of acrylic bone cement for cervical fusion in patients with rheumatoid arthritis.


We report on 14 patients with instability of the cervical spine secondary to rheumatoid arthritis treated by fusion using a combination of traditional bone grafting techniques and methylmethacrylate bone cement. Successful fusion was achieved in all cases with few complications. The high infection rate reported by other authors was avoided by reducing the bulk of the cement mass and the use of antibiotic impregnated cement. We recommend this method of fusion to all orthopaedic surgeons involved in the treatment of patients with rheumatoid arthritis.

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Selected References

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  • Ranawat CS, O'Leary P, Pellicci P, Tsairis P, Marchisello P, Dorr L. Cervical spine fusion in rheumatoid arthritis. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1979 Oct;61(7):1003–1010. [PubMed]
  • Brattström H, Granholm L. Atlanto-axial fusion in rheumatoid arthritis. A new method of fixation with wire and bone cement. Acta Orthop Scand. 1976 Dec;47(6):619–628. [PubMed]
  • Bryan WJ, Inglis AE, Sculco TP, Ranawat CS. Methylmethacrylate stabilization for enhancement of posterior cervical arthrodesis in rheumatoid arthritis. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1982 Sep;64(7):1045–1050. [PubMed]
  • Clark CR, Keggi KJ, Panjabi MM. Methylmethacrylate stabilization of the cervical spine. J Bone Joint Surg Am. 1984 Jan;66(1):40–46. [PubMed]
  • Eismont FJ, Bohlman HH. Posterior methylmethacrylate fixation for cervical trauma. Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 1981 Jul-Aug;6(4):347–353. [PubMed]
  • Whitehill R, Reger SI, Fox E, Payne R, Barry J, Cole C, Richman J, Bruce J. The use of methylmethacrylate cement as an instantaneous fusion mass in posterior cervical fusions: a canine in vivo experimental model. Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 1984 Apr;9(3):246–252. [PubMed]

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